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Old 10-29-2018, 12:47 PM
 
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By accent alone. If a Canadian from Ontario ( the Toronto area) or Vancouver went to California would they be identified as Canadian strictly by the accent?

In all honesty as a Canadian I don’t know what it is that gives us away. When I hear Americans speak in movies it does not sound that different from my own accent here in Toronto. Yet I hear Americans online saying that Canadians are easy to “pick up”. This is just bizarre. I honestly don’t know anyone who says things like “aboot”, if I did I would of course say so but I really don’t hear anyone talk like that. Most of us Canadians here in Toronto consider our selves to speak like Californians. Are we wrong?
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Old 10-29-2018, 01:20 PM
 
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Canadians usually do pronounce "about" differently in my experience, other than that it's hard to tell for me.
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Old 10-29-2018, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Brew City
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You sound just like me (being an Upper Midwesterner). Now when I stopped in Lethbridge I was appalled at the way a local pronounced Calgary. In Calgary they pronounced it the same way I do .

Someone from California would probably stick out more here than someone from the Toronto region.
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Old 10-29-2018, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Most Americans just don't have enough exposure to Canadian accents to know the difference.

Canadians who live east of Lake Superior (southern Ontario) generally will have the "aboat" accent, but it's usually very subtle and not everyone will have it, especially people under 30.

People in the Maritimes have a different accent altogether (think Trailer Park Boys) that has Scottish and Irish influences, though this is similar to southern Ontario in that not everyone will have that accent.

Western Canadians (northern Ontario west to British Columbia) all have a neutral "Western" accent, which to me sounds indistinguishable from a Californian accent.

It's only certain words that give Western Canadians away, like "against" (a-gay-nst), or "pasta" (pass-duh), or "process" (proe-sess).
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Old 10-29-2018, 01:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifat View Post
Most Americans just don't have enough exposure to Canadian accents to know the difference.

Canadians who live east of Lake Superior (southern Ontario) generally will have the "aboat" accent, but it's usually very subtle and not everyone will have it, especially people under 30.

People in the Maritimes have a different accent altogether (think Trailer Park Boys) that has Scottish and Irish influences, though this is similar to southern Ontario in that not everyone will have that accent.

Western Canadians (northern Ontario west to British Columbia) all have a neutral "Western" accent, which to me sounds indistinguishable from a Californian accent.

It's only certain words that give Western Canadians away, like "against" (a-gay-nst), or "pasta" (pass-duh), or "process" (proe-sess).
I agree with this. There are a few different pronunciations which are a giveaway ("sore-ee" for "sorry" is another one), but whether or not I will hear them during any given conversation is hit or miss. It's not like a British or Australian accent which you can identify as soon as the person opens their mouth. Canadians can fly under the radar for a long time if they are careful.

There's a certain announcer on local radio whom I am convinced is Canadian because every so often he says "about," and it's just ever so slightly different from the way an American would say it. I'm sure the vast majority of people don't even notice, but I have a linguistics background, and my ear is attuned to dialectal variations.

For that matter, it often takes me a while to tell that another American is from a different region, but sooner or later, it becomes apparent. For instance, I might notice that they use different vowels in "on" and "off," or they might refer to "pop" or "the Interstate."
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Old 10-29-2018, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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I'm not making this up- a friend of mine and her friend from Vancouver were here over the weekend, we went to an NHL game Saturday night. The Vancouver BC native said "Wow that's a really nice zamboni eh?" Most Canadian thing I've ever heard.

Oh and also most Canadians I've met say "sorry" like "sore-y". That's a big tell.
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Old 10-29-2018, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Brew City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifat View Post
People in the Maritimes have a different accent altogether (think Trailer Park Boys) that has Scottish and Irish influences, though this is similar to southern Ontario in that not everyone will have that accent.
Surely you mean J-Roc . Or Bubbles .

Thanks for reminding me. I might have to watch some re-runs soon.
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Old 10-29-2018, 02:28 PM
 
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Sometimes I can tell, lol. Some Canadians pronounce "about" with a different inflection on the "u". The also say "zed" for the letter "z". I find differences accents very interesting!
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Old 10-29-2018, 02:43 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
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There are a lot of Canadians in media or entertainment that Americans just assume are Americans and then are startled by learning are Canadian. The accent gives it away only about half the time of less. In the Midwest they have sort of a Minnesotan quality to the accent so a bit confusing. Some people know that the accent is off a bit but can't place it. I'm that way with some Brits and Australians.
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Old 10-29-2018, 02:54 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
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Default Can Americans really tell a Canadians apart?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakeskinn View Post
By accent alone. If a Canadian from Ontario ( the Toronto area) or Vancouver went to California would they be identified as Canadian strictly by the accent?

In all honesty as a Canadian I don’t know what it is that gives us away. When I hear Americans speak in movies it does not sound that different from my own accent here in Toronto. Yet I hear Americans online saying that Canadians are easy to “pick up”. This is just bizarre. I honestly don’t know anyone who says things like “aboot”, if I did I would of course say so but I really don’t hear anyone talk like that. Most of us Canadians here in Toronto consider our selves to speak like Californians. Are we wrong?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamposite View Post
Canadians usually do pronounce "about" differently in my experience, other than that it's hard to tell for me.
English speaking Canadians from Ontario? A different accent from people here in New York but otherwise nothing earth shattering different, except like Foamposite mentioned, some of them say the word "about" like it is a boot or something.

But if someone from Toronto told me they were from the Great Lakes area, Buffalo, Cleveland or even out in Minneapolis, I would believe them.
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